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Game 26 Preview: Tucson at Texas

December 14, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Tucson Roadrunners News Release

Game #26 - Tucson (20-5-0-0) at Texas (11-13-1-2)

6 PM MST, H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

LISTEN LIVE Fox Sports 1450, iHeart Radio app


Roadrunners Current Roster: Click here

Referees: Mason Riley (#79), Furman South (#44)

Linesmen: TBD, Carl Sasyn (#30)

One last contest, then we're coming home!

Following last night's second-longest shootout in league history, the Roadrunners are a perfect three-for-three on this 11-day road trip that began back on Thursday, December 5, hours after sweeping Colorado at Tucson Arena.

The story of the trip thus far has clearly been the defensive side of things, with Ivan Prosvetov earning two wins and allowing just one goal in each of them, sandwiching a 30-save shutout performance from Adin Hill Tuesday night in Des Moines.

Now, tonight, Tucson returns to the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, two months and nine days after Antti Raanta opened the season with a 19-save shutout in his first and only game of a conditioning loan.

Three Things

1) The phrase "finding different ways to win" can be often overused in hockey culture but last night truly was another unique way to do so for the Roadrunners, their 20th win in 25 games. Ivan Prosvetov was simply outstanding and on top of his 26/27 performance in regulation and overtime, perhaps the most impressive portion of his night was denying 13 consecutive tries in the shootout. Offensively, the victory also provides two large stems of potential growth, one for Kelly Klima, who has now scored in half of the games he has played in this year and another for Nate Schnarr, who buried the game-winner in the 15th round and has to be feeling on top of the world. Let's hope all the momentum carries into this evening.

2) This will be a different Texas Stars team that many fans have grown to resonate with over the past few seasons. They're no longer the Derek Laxdal-led team that once bounced the Roadrunners from the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs and no longer the team that found itself in the basement of the AHL after the first month of the season. Following the coaching change by the Dallas Stars earlier this week, Laxdal, the long-time head coach for the AHL affiliate of Dallas, received the call to come serve as an assistant for the NHL club. With that being said, the surging Texas Stars, who are now 8-1-1 in their last ten, are led by 34-year-old Neil Graham. Graham, who achieved great success with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) over the course of seven seasons, was promoted to the AHL this summer and has contributed to a Texas team that is now working its way back to .500 and winning in many ways of their own as of late, including a 3-2 defeat of Manitoba Friday.

3) Despite Adin Hill's terrific 30-save shutout Tuesday night in Iowa, the Roadrunners' netminding rotation held firm last night with the club going back to Ivan Prosvetov once again. The situation, becoming like a trick question, is proving to show (as it has all year) that's there's no wrong answer. With that being said, all signs would indicate that it will be Hill tonight in Cedar Park, looking to extend his record to 9-3 and stay as hot as his goaltending partner.

What's The Word?

Roadrunners defenseman Jordan Gross on what the team knows about Texas and how they're feeling going into tonight...

"It'll be a challenge for us. They're been really, really good as of late and it's in their home building. It's a super tough place to play, so we'll have our hands full."

Roadrunners defenseman Jordan Gross on the current four-game swing and what he feels has been the x-factor to success...

"It's been a really good road trip for us so far. I think our defensive game has been great and it's always good to win."

Roadrunners defenseman Jordan Gross on the team allowing three goals in the last four games entering this evening...

"I think it speaks volumes about our goaltending right now. We have both guys going in, they're both doing an awesome job and teams are having a tough time getting pucks behind them."

Number to Know

.800. Riding a five-game win streak into tonight, the Roadrunners are the only team in the American Hockey League with a win percentage denoting wins in four of every five games.

We're Doing It Live

Catch tonight's active LIVE on AHLTV or join Roadrunners play-by-play voice Adrian Denny on Fox Sports 1450 AM and iHeart Radio as he calls the game from the Roadrunners' flagship radio station, where coverage begins at 5:45 PM.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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